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Embracing the Magic of the Autumnal Equinox: Fall Rituals, Herbs, and Symbolism

The Autumnal Equinox marks the bittersweet farewell to summer's warmth and the gradual return of longer, darker nights until we reach the Winter Solstice, the longest night. These equinoxes remind us of the intricate balance in our lives, reflecting the complexity that defines us. Nurturing this balance is indeed an endeavor. The Autumnal Equinox offers us a unique opportunity to slow down, take a deep breath, and acknowledge the efforts we've invested throughout the year. It's a moment to carry the lingering summer heat forward, stoking our inner fires to sustain us through the upcoming colder months. This season invites us to engage in self-care, introspection, and a profound connection to the changing rhythms of nature. So, as the leaves begin to turn and the crisp autumn air fills our lungs, we welcome the Fall Equinox—a time of balance and transformation.

Themes, Symbols & Elements

Themes: Time of Balance; Transformation; Letting Go; Paradigm Shift; Grief & Gratitude

Symbols: Scales - the sign of Libra; Double Spiral - Illustrates the point of balance between the worlds and the inner and outer journey

Colors: Dark or rich greens, burnt orange, deep reds, golden yellow

Tree: Persimmon, Mountain Ash, Apple

Plants & Herbs: golden rod, rosemary, fennel, sage, thyme, ginger root, calendula, marigold, hawthorn, rosehip, apple, citrus, cinnamon

Animals: monarch butterfly

Element: Air

Autumn Equinox Rituals

  • Enjoy a large feast with a bonfire, music & sharing stories or gratitude

  • Preserve your harvest or make plant medicines like fire cider, elderberry syrup, or other medicinal tinctures

  • Go for a mindful walk in nature, sharing what changes you notice are taking place in the landscape

  • Energetically cleanse your space

Embracing the magic of plant rituals during the Fall Equinox aligns us with the energetic shifts of the season. These cleansing rituals harness the power of aromatic herbs, infusing our surroundings with purification, spiritual elevation, and the essence of the new season. In the practice of energetic cleansing, selecting the right plants is key.

Cleansing, also known as purification, is the practice of clearing out and releasing negative energy from your space and energy that’s just old, stale, stagnant, or no longer serving you.

I opt for herbs that are easy to cultivate, abundant, and culturally respectful. Lavender, rosemary, and mugwort are excellent choices, each with unique symbolism and properties to enhance your equinox ritual. These plants serve as conduits, helping us transition harmoniously into the autumnal energies while honoring the deep-rooted traditions of nature's wisdom.

Physical Cleaning: dusting, vacuuming, washing curtains, opening windows for fresh air. Washing walls and surfaces with herbal-infused waters.

Salt is a common element used for purification and protection in many cultures. To use, sprinkle salt along doorways and windowsills to protect them from negative energy entering, or keep a small bowl of salt on your altar or nearby surface.

Smoke or Steam Cleansing: Choose plants that you have grown yourself or that grow abundantly wild nearby or plants that you have ancestral ties to. Burning dried bundles of these plants or creating a steam pot on your stove or woodstove to imbibe your home with potent energy.


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